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Hybrid and multi-cloud strategies take centre stage

(Image credit: Image Credit: Everything Possible / Shutterstock)

For the last few years, we have been hearing a lot about how multi-cloud and hybrid cloud (opens in new tab) strategies are the future of cloud computing. But according to recent data, the future may well have arrived. At last month’s CloudHealth Connect18 in Boston I heard from Dave Bartoletti, VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, who broke down multi-cloud and hybrid cloud (opens in new tab) by the numbers:

  • 62 per cent of public cloud adopters are using 2+ unique cloud environments/platforms
  • 74 per cent of enterprises describe their strategy as hybrid/multi-cloud today

But only:

  • 42 per cent regularly optimise cloud spending
  • 41 per cent maintain an approved service catalogue
  • 37 per cent enforce capacity limits or expirations

The trend is obvious. The statistics on cloud computing stated by Bartoletti (and others) all point to hybrid cloud and multi-cloud as the current reality for most companies. This is confirmed by what I see in our customer environments as well. A recent internal review by my company, ParkMyCloud, confirms what most industry experts and analysts report.

In many cases, public cloud users and enterprises have adopted a multi-cloud or hybrid cloud strategy to meet their cloud computing needs. Taking advantage of features and capabilities from different cloud providers can be a great way to get the most out of the benefits that cloud services can offer, but if not used optimally, these strategies can also result in wasted time, money, and computing capacity.

The data is telling – but I don’t want to stop there. For more insight on the rise of multi-cloud and hybrid cloud strategies, and to demonstrate the impact on cloud spend (and waste) – I have compiled a few more statistics on cloud computing.

Multi-cloud and hybrid cloud adoption statistics

The statistics on cloud computing show that companies not only use multiple clouds today, but they have plans to expand multi- and hybrid cloud use in the future:

According to a 451 Research survey, 69 per cent of organisations plan to run a multi-cloud environment by 2019. As they said, “the future of IT is multi-cloud and hybrid” – but with this rise, cloud spending optimisation also becomes more of a challenge.

In a survey of nearly 1,000 tech executives and cloud practitioners, over 80 per cent of companies were utilising a multi-cloud strategy, commonly including a hybrid cloud model consisting of both public and private clouds.

And by multi-cloud, I don’t mean just two. On average, the number of private and public clouds used by companies to run applications and test out new services is 4.8.

On hybrid cloud strategy:

  • 83 per cent of workloads are virtualised today (IDC)
  • 60 per cent of large enterprises run VMs in the public cloud (IDC)
  • 65 per cent of organisations have a hybrid cloud strategy today (IDC)

Cloud spend statistics

As the enterprise cloud footprint expands, so too does its spending:

And it’s not just public – the rise in cloud spend is happening on all fronts. According to IDC, 62.3 per cent of private cloud spending went to on-premise private clouds in 2017.

The increase in cloud use, along with the rise of multi-cloud and hybrid cloud (opens in new tab) strategies, also correlates with an increased investment in cloud services. In a survey of nearly 1,000 tech executives and cloud practitioners, 20 per cent of enterprises plan to increase their cloud spend by more than double, and another 17 per cent plan to up their cloud spending by 50-100 per cent, according to the report. 

75 per cent of participants said that one of their primary concerns was the challenge of managing cloud spend. Cloud cost optimisation was a priority for the majority of participants, and average cloud waste was reported at 35 per cent.

In another study from 451 Research, 38.8 per cent of CIOs said that “cost savings” was their biggest motivator in migrating to the cloud, but post migration, cloud costs was the biggest challenge they faced. Here’s what else the analyst group had to say:

“Cloud is an inexpensive and easily accessible technology. People consume more, thereby spending more, and forget to control or limit their consumption. With ease of access, inevitably some resources get orphaned with no ownership; these continue to incur costs. Some resources are overprovisioned to provide extra capacity as a ‘just in case’ solution. Unexpected line items, such as bandwidth, are consumed. The IT department has limited visibility or control of these items.”

What does ParkMyCloud user data tell us?

We’ve noticed some interesting patterns in the cloud platforms adopted by ParkMyCloud users as well, which highlight the multi-cloud trends discussed above as well as correlations between the types of companies that are attracted to each of the major public clouds. We recently took a detailed inventory of client usage and observed the following:

  • A high rate of growth in the number of Google Cloud Platform (GCP) customers over the past several months. While Amazon Web Services still holds the lion’s share among organisations using ParkMyCloud, the rate of growth is much higher for GCP. We believe that as more and larger organisations become enmeshed in GCP’s infrastructure, they are finding a greater need for cost optimisation.
  • Among our customers using a multi-cloud strategy, the majority use AWS in combination with Azure, while the rest are using AWS with Google Cloud Platform.
  • The company profiles of AWS and GCP users are similar – we find these to be tech-forward small/medium businesses, whereas Azure attracts a larger proportion of big enterprises.

What these statistics on cloud computing mean for cloud management 

Upon examining these statistics on cloud computing, it’s clear that multi-cloud and hybrid cloud approaches are not just the future, they’re the current state of affairs. While this offers plenty of advantages to organisations looking to benefit from different cloud capabilities, using more than one CSP complicates governance, cost optimisation, and cloud management further as native CSP tools are not multi-cloud. As cloud costs remain a primary concern, it’s crucial for organisations to stay ahead with insight into cloud usage trends to manage spend (and prevent waste). To keep costs in check for a multi-cloud or hybrid cloud environment, optimisation tools that can track usage and spend across different cloud providers are a CIO’s best friend.

Jay Chapel, CEO of ParkMyCloud (opens in new tab)
Image Credit: Everything Possible / Shutterstock

Jay Chapel is CEO of ParkMyCloud.